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Kunsthaus Tacheles

published on 2010-07-22 by Sara
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Oh God, what’s not to say about Tacheles? Historical meaning, present controversies and a significant part in Berlins urban and cultural evolution. You could probably write novels on the subject of art houses and punk squats and poor piss clubs in Berlin, but the Tacheles does kind of stand out. It was one of my first (if not the very first, I can’t remember) experiences in Berlins nightlife.

… not a good one, by the way. But I know that many young students come to the Tacheles to have a cheap and good time partying. There’s something about urine pestered hallways and tagged walls and broken windows that attracts the kids from outside Berlin, and the Tacheles has much of all that. It’s new to them (and it used to be new to me): that something as dirty and wild as this could be considered art or even be approved by adults. It’s an insane new world. I keep forgetting that that’s not taken for granted everywhere (especially not in the rest of Germany).

Tacheles is an art house and an exhibition space, but the times of non-profit and subcultural importance are long gone and maybe it’s time to move on to other, better, bigger, more significant things. Not that I support tearing this historical landmark down or anything – not at all. I’m just saying: do not worry. We’re not running out of anything. There will be more, there will be better, and we will make new history and give birth to new legends- let the elders rest in peace.

The word “Tacheles” (Yiddish word for “plain, honest, straightforward talk, purpose”) is based on censorship problems in the GDR. As a result of limited freedom of speech, musicians, directors and artists were not permitted to openly express themselves, and they were forced to conceal the true message of the work. The use of Yiddish is probably a result of the building’s location in the old Jewish quarter (now the Scheunenviertel). (source)

The future of the Tacheles ruins is uncertain. Rumors had it that the owners of the expired lease were going to be (forcefully, Berlin style) evicted on Wednesday morning. I went early in the morning to take some ‘last’ pictures before I’d never have the chance again, but there was no actual eviction going on and we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

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